The SC State Ports Authority (SCSPA) is one of five US port organizations selected to participate in an 18-month environmental management program.
Established by the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) and the Global Environment & Technology Foundation (GETF), the Port Environmental Management System (EMS) Assistance Project is designed to help seaport authorities better analyze and control their environmental impacts as well as develop and maintain responsible practices in their daily operations. This is the third round of the program since it was established in 2005.
‘Our participation in the Port EMS program is another example of the port’s commitment to balancing our business and growth with the environment,’ said Bernard S. Groseclose Jr., president and CEO of the SCSPA. ‘Through our Pledge for Growth initiatives, adding an environmental affairs manager to our staff, and by evaluating new ways to minimize port-related air emissions, we are striving to be a responsible neighbor.’
“AAPA is pleased to continue to offer the Port EMS Assistance Project for port authorities that are seeking to use an environmental management system approach to enhance their environmental performance,” said Kurt Nagle, AAPA’s president and CEO.
EMS Assistance Project participants were selected based on involvement of top management, organizational support and the ability to share experiences with peers and affiliated organizations. The other port organizations participating in the program are the Port of San Diego, Port of Long Beach, California United Terminals and the Georgia Ports Authority.
Initially, the SCSPA proposes to analyze fuel dispensing and usage at its five public marine terminals in the Port of Charleston. The SCSPA purchases about one million gallons of fuel a year to power its on-terminal lifting equipment, and last fall switched to using ultra-low sulfur diesel in its operations.
This is the latest of several recent announcements by the SCSPA that relate to the environment. Earlier this summer, the SCSPA launched the Pledge for Growth, which encompasses all of the port’s environmental and community programming. This includes a voluntary partnership with SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) to reduce port-related air emissions and a $12-million mitigation plan that funds land conservation, water quality improvement and community enhancements.
The SCSPA is hiring an environmental affairs manager that will ensure regulatory compliance and implement the port’s EMS, among other responsibilities. In addition, the SCSPA, along with the Charleston Motor Carriers Association, SC Trucking Association, SCDHEC, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce and the American Lung Association, applied for grant funding through EPA that would improve air impacts of trucks. The grants would fund the retro-fitting of over-the-road trucks with new technology that would reduce diesel air emissions and improve fuel efficiency.